For Hotel, Resort, and Casino Food & Beverage Professionals Hotel F&B JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2006 screen test Executive your servers p.46 buffets that sell banquets p.32 Omni comes home with U.S.A. promotion p.24 tequila pairings beyond the ordinary p.44 uniforms that 15 turn heads ... and tables p.49 Merritt Hospitality F&B Team. REALITY SHOW WHAT’S BEHIND MERRITT HOSPITALITY’S NEW BANQUET MENUS WINNERS!2005 MIXIE Awards Hotel Cocktail Competition. p.35 B E V E R A G E POTPOURRI BY DAVE STEADMAN The World o Wine B F T Y RED IBBITTS f ■ CHAMPAGNE BY THE GLASS formed by hand. ºLounge, he explains the history of Champagne by the These minis tequila and the process by which it is Fred Tibbitts talks glass just got easi- are also ideal for made. “Blanco is bottled directly from with Martin B. er. Forget hoping your room mini- the distillation process and does not Jones, GM, that Champagne bars. For guests undergo aging. A distinctively strong Westin Kuala stoppers will keep Champagne minis. finishing up spirit, it is best enjoyed with a mixer or Lumpur, and the fizz in the bottle. some late work, what could be better ” with lime and salt, Cisneros says. Chairman of Forget the feeling than an excellent glass of luxury “Reposado is unmistakably flavorful. Starwood’s Asia- Dave Steadman that you can only Champagne? Well, perhaps some would Aged six months to two years in large Pacific Food & offer inexpensive . prefer a fine Cognac. V.I.P XO Cognac oak barrels, it can be enjoyed straight or Beverage Council. Champagnes or other sparklers. Frapin Grande Champagne Premier with lime and salt. Anejo, the finest of Put an elegant wine bucket at the Grand Cru du Cognac is available in a 50 all tequila varieties, is aged in small Fred Tibbitts, the center of your bar, filled with ice and five ml mini and is sure to soothe any quantities in white oak barrels three to Globetrotting Wine Guy or six minis of Gosset Champagne. Pop Cognac aficionado. five years and longer. Incredibly smooth, FT Starwood is advancing across the cork and your guest will enjoy one of Family owned, Frapin owns all of its with complex flavors, these are best Asia Pacific as everyone expected France’s finest champagnes. Gosset, vineyards, including 494 acres of prime enjoyed in a snifter glass. ” and as advertised, especially in founded in 1584, is the oldest wine Grande Champagne Premier Grand Cru The tasting covers two selections China. How is this going and what, house in the Champagne region. Until du Cognac vineyards. from each of these categories, with if any, effect has it had on your the early 1990s, it was still owned by the 3/4-ounce servings in a Riedel Crystal division’s F&B operations? Gosset family when it was sold to the ■ TEQUILA Tequila Glass. MJ It is true that we have some Renaud/Cointreau family, with ties to the Ritz-Carlton properties take tequila seri- Tiberio Lobo-Navia is the Tequilier at exciting projects coming up in China Cognac district spanning 20 genera- ously. While guests at the Cancun prop- Cantina Beach, a Coastal Mexican over the next few years, predominant- tions—dating back to the early 1200s. erty are open to sampling different restaurant opened last June at the Ritz- ly with our extremely popular and suc- Gosset uses juice from the first and tequilas, the national spirit of Mexico, Carlton Key Biscayne. The authoritative cessful Sheraton and Westin brands, best pressing of grapes and still carries Tequilier Ricardo Cisneros introduces voice on the 40-plus tequilas offered, he but also with W, Four Points, etc. This out initial fermentation in small oak bar- them to an elegance they didn’t expect mingles with guests, musing on the dif- means we have the chance to really rels. Riddling and disgorgement are per to find in this spirit. ferent qualities of each tequila, recom- show what we can do in food & bev- At tasting sessions in the Lobby mending particular ones for pairing with erage. We don’t plan to copy our com- culinary selections, and making sugges- petition in any way, so we will be tions on creating the perfect Margarita introducing some of our already suc- to fit a particular mood. cessfully operating concepts as well “I am a particular fan of Del Maguey as a few newcomers into this market. ” Single Village Mezcals, says Matthew Zubrod, executive chef/F&B director at FT Predictions that the various hotel Ritz-Carlton Club Aspen Highlands, tiers would continue to segment in Willow Creek Bistro. “Each village in the Asia-Pacific to better target the best Oaxaca area delivers different tastes customer bases is happening. Has due to varying micro-climates, much as your plan to further segment been on is the case with wines. ” a country-by-country or a division In addition to Mezcal Tastings with a basis? How does China play into the Here's a refreshing idea: one-ounce pour served in ceramic hand- segmentation evolution today and, A beverage control system made vases from Oaxaca, servers sug- say, for the next three years? that makes your life easier. gest a Mezcal floater on Margaritas. MJ Starwood is lucky in so much as we Zubrod offers Del Maguey’s Pechuga, have a number of brands that allow us No more guessing bottle Crema, Minero, Chichicapa, and Tobala, representation in most markets. We also levels, beverage costs, his personal favorite, made from wild have great owners who invest to ensure or losses. Our fast, easy mountain agave grown in the shade of that whatever brand we are developing oak trees. Completely organic, it is 100 will be a first-class product. In general, system simplifies: percent pure, with no water or chemical most of our brands are growing through- • Physical Inventory additives. He features a drink created by out this region and are being received Ron Cooper, owner of Del Maguey. very well. This allows us some exciting • Receiving & Perpetual and varied food & beverage products. • Ordering THE GREEN CHAPULIN 12 oz. red grapefruit juice We are constantly developing these to • Banquets 20–30 sprigs of fresh cilantro (discarding suit the brands and the location/market. • Transfers stems below bottom leaf on each) 4 oz. Del Maguey San Luis del Rio FT More and more chain hotels in • Requisitions 2 oz. Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal highly Asia-Pacific are getting far more seri- carbonated soda water ous about directing their wine pro- 800-806-3922 large ice cubes Blend juice and cilantro until mixture turns grams with core wine lists and wine- by-the glass programs.Why is this, www.accubar.com medium green and barely any cilantro par- and what is Starwood doing to better ticles show. Stir in mezcal, pour over ice in a large glass, and top with a 1/4-inch float address this development? of soda water. Serves 6 to 10. MJ We all know the importance of wine in our business. Emerging mar- Dave Steadman is editor & associate publisher, kets such as China are also growing in HOTEL WINE, BEER & SPIRITS 42 H OTEL F&B EXECUTIVE • JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2006 We don’t plan to COPY OUR regard to wine consumption. Wine by the COMPETITION IN ANY WAY, MJ We create our wine programs divisionally, not glass is an excellent opportunity for our globally. The world is too large and diverse to dictate guests to experience a wide variety of grape such things. European hotels have different lists and types, brands, etc. Our wine-by-the-glass pro- so we’ll be introducing some of mixes, as do Australia and our Asian hotels. We need gram is available in most Sheratons and to cater to the local market as well as our international Westins in the region. It has an excellent and our already successfully operating visitors. The program has a great deal of flexibility with diverse selection from throughout the world. some minimum requirements. Then each hotel This is extended to wine by the bottle, allow- concepts as well as a few decides which labels it would like. Our wine partners ing favorites to be purchased this way. We generally build a relationship with the hotels individual- also have local representation for Indonesia newcomers into this market. ly for special promotions, etc. Martin Jones and China, giving it a true global appeal. bility of each property to manage with the local FT What is the most important aspect of your divi- FT Is most of the wine volume by the glass or by wine importers? Do you train the trainers for wine, sion wine program and why? Do you see this remain- the bottle and in the front of the house or banquet? or is it a hotel level responsibility? ing the same indefinitely, or could priorities and/or And does the answer depend on the country? MJ We develop the program (wine by the glass), the vision change over the next three to five years? MJ This varies greatly country by country or even city engage the wine partners, and then encourage our MJ Flexibility, without doubt. Our partners too. They are by city. For example, a hotel in Australia that has large hotels to deal individually with suppliers and wine part- extremely positive and understanding and willing to sup- banqueting could easily sell most of their wine by the ners for training, dinners, tastings, etc. We encourage our port us. It is never easy to implement such a program bottle in functions, whereas other hotels, such as hotels hotels to prioritize with our wine partners, and we gener- over so many brands in so many countries. We feel it in China or Thailand, may sell more by the bottle or glass ally see excellent results. There is without doubt an will remain the same—with the same partners—for the in restaurants. I don’t think there is a firm pattern. The improvement overall in guest satisfaction. near future. There are always ways we can improve, but most important thing is that we are selling wine in most now the formula seems right, so we will push forward. locations, and it is growing all the time FT Many wine producers think Starwood Worldwide dictates their wine policies from the New FT What are your favorite wines and why? FT What kind of wine training do you organize on a York World Headquarters at White Plains. In truth, as MJ I’ll drink pretty much anything. I’m a self confessed division basis, and what part of it is the responsi I understand it, each Starwood division office sets New World Wine drinker, but I’m very happy to try and their wine policies, though loosely in accordance enjoy anything. Cheers! key to the pantry with the now famous “Wines of the World” pro- gram. How does it all work and why? Do you see it Fred Tibbitts & Associates Inc., is the foremost global wine- PURELY VERSATILE changing? Will it be a topic of discussion at your by-the-glass consultant, working with on-premise chains Homer Laughlin’s pure white upcoming Global Conference at San Diego this year? around the world. firstname.lastname@example.org Alexa™ line, with a modern coupe shape that is elegantly thin and light, provides chefs with control of food presentation through maximum usable space and a design that adds glamour and appeal to plating. Alexa™ provides stylish and stackable pres- entation options for space efficiencies, on and off the table. 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